A standout Las Vegas football recruit signed to play football at Oklahoma has finalized a plea agreement that led to the dismissal of all felonies he faced in connection with an attack on an ex-girlfriend.
Wednesday, Justin Chaisson pleaded no contest to four gross misdemeanors in Clark County (Nev.) Court: two counts of false imprisonment, one count of malicious destruction of private property and one count of conspiracy to commit coercion and/or false imprisonment. District Judge Stefany Miley approved the plea agreement and sentenced Chaisson to three years probation and 120 hours community service. As part of the agreement, Chaisson was also told to avoid any contact with the ex-girlfriend and a female witness of the crime. Miley’s approval of the guilty plea deal appears to have paved the way for Chaisson to still join the Sooner football team. While Sooner coach Bob Stoops has yet to officially announce whether he will still honor Chaisson’s football scholarship, Chaisson’s lawyer, Michael Cristalli, said the plea deal was carved out around OU’s admittance policy and that he anticipates his client will be attending OU in the fall. “During the course of discussions with the district attorney, throughout the process, I had kept OU in the loop on all these issues,” Cristalli told The Oklahoman. “I understood what OU’s policy was, I understood what we could and what we couldn’t agree to. The resolution we were able to achieve was consistent with the requirements OU made me aware of. We finalized a negotiation to make him eligible to go to OU and pursue a great academic and athletic four years at the university.” Chaisson, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end out of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School, was one of OU’s top 2009 signees. He notched 148 tackles and 28 sacks during his final two seasons of high school and verbally committed to OU over a host of schools, including Florida, UCLA, Arizona and Iowa. In addition to the sentencing handed down by Miley, Chaisson will also have to attend long-term domestic-violence counseling and complete an additional 48 hours of community service, coming from last week’s court appearance where he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors: coercion and battery constituting domestic violence. All of Chaisson’s charges stem from an altercation that occurred March 17 with an ex-girlfriend that he had dated for four years. According to a Las Vegas police report, Chaisson and his 17-year-old former girlfriend got into an argument in a parking lot at Bishop Gorman before he followed the girl to a coffee shop. Outside the coffee shop, Chaisson grabbed the girl's arm and forced her into the back seat of his sport-utility vehicle, according to the report. The girl told police Chaisson punched her in the ribs and drove her to the desert before pulling her out of the vehicle.